Monday, January 9, 2017

Culinary cruise on Myanmar's Ayeyarwady River

Textured egg yolk trilogy.
The Strand Cruise, which recently celebrated its first year of operation on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River, has announced plans for its first culinary themed cruise in March 2017 with Strand’s new executive chef, Christian Martena and guest chef, Sylvain Royer, Michelin starred Chef de Cuisine of the R&B Lab Company.

Chef Christian, who is responsible for the culinary offerings of both The Strand Cruise and the newly reopened and refurbished Strand Yangon, will join passengers on a four-night voyage from Bagan to Mandalay on 13th March 2017.  Since moving to Yangon in Summer 2016, Chef Christian has been travelling around Myanmar to visit suppliers and remote farming communities to immerse himself the country’s distinctive regional cuisines and source the best produce and spices to create a unique gastronomic experience.   Christian will be joined by fellow chef, Sylvain Royer, a Bangkok-based farm-to-table fanatic who is responsible for several highly acclaimed restaurants in the region, including the Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant in Bangkok.

As well as visiting ancient capitals and fascinating temples along the river, passengers can accompany Chefs Christian & Sylvain on visits to markets to discover local ingredients such as the tealeaf, which is used to make Laphet, a traditional Myanmar salad of fermented green tea, and infuse fish recipes such as Mohinga, a fish and noodle broth from the Shan region.  They will also present some of their signature dishes pared with wines each evening, teach passengers how to shank oysters and lead a fun blind food tasting contest to discover or re-discover ingredients found in Myanmar, such as lemongrass.

The Strand’s culinary themed cruise will take place as part of the ship’s scheduled four-night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay on Monday 13th March 2017 and is a value-added experience offered at no extra cost to passengers.  Rates are from $2,694 per person sharing a Deluxe Cabin based on double occupancy.  Rates include all excursions and activities on board The Strand Cruise as described in the set itinerary, three meals during full sailing days, breakfast on day of disembarkation, soft drinks & local beer, house wine during meals, port charges, English speaking guides (alternative language guides can be provided on request subject to availability) and satellite WI-FI in all cabins and public areas.

This gourmet cruise is the second in a series of themed trips operated by The Strand Cruise through 2017 and will be repeated again in September 2017.  Its first themed cruise will be a classical music cruise departing 13th February 2017 when The Strand Cruise welcomes on board eight classical musicians, including artists from the famous Opéra de Paris and Orchestre de Paris, for an intimate four-night musical cruise over St. Valentine’s Day.  Passengers will share in the experience of hearing scores from some of history’s most famous composers, including Mozart and Puccini, echoing against a backdrop of romantic sunsets, starlit night skies and a vista of thousands of pagodas.

Source: Press release

Seabourn Encore launched in Singapore

Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, formally introduced Seabourn Encore to the world at a festive evening ceremony in Singapore on Saturday (January 7).

International recording artist and world’s best-selling soprano Sarah Brightman presided over the naming ceremony as Godmother of the new 600-guest ship, sending a bottle of champagne smashing against the bow in a time-honoured ship christening tradition. Guests and VIPs joined Seabourn staff at the launch festivities, with local musicians and cultural acts, including lion dancers and stilt walkers, helping to send the ship off in style.

“The launch of Seabourn Encore marks the start of a new era of ultra-luxury cruising,” Seabourn President Richard Meadows said.

“Seabourn Encore marks a major step forward in terms of growth for our company. This ship is stunningly beautiful and I know guests are going to be absolutely captivated as they step aboard and see it firsthand.”

Source: Press release

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Qantas Dreamliner will fly non-stop from Perth to London

Qantas is set to add to its list of aviation firsts, with the national carrier confirming it will operate non-stop flights from Perth to London using the 787-9 Dreamliner. 

The 14,498 kilometre service will be the first regular passenger service to link Australia with Europe directly when it begins in March 2018.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the history-making route would be a watershed for travel, tourism and trade.

“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.

“This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.

“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.”

Source: Press Release 11 December

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Janet Luxton 'Everyone Unique'.

Last days to see Janet Luxton's fabulous work at the Australian Galleries, Paddington.

15 Roylston Street Paddington NSW 2021
Open 7 days 10am to 6pm

Janet Luxton:  Kakapo, New Zealand Night Parrot 2015. Oil on linen.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rauschenberg in China

The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece, 1981–98, Panels 116 to 120
116: Silkscreened ink and acrylic on anodized mirrored aluminum; 117 to 120: Silkscreened ink and acrylic on enameled aluminum
304.8 x 121.9 cm each
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation © 2016 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is proud to present “Rauschenberg in China.” On view in UCCA’s Great Hall from 12 June to 21 August 2016, the exhibition centers on Robert Rauschenberg’s (1925-2008) magnum opus The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98), its 190 parts stretching approximately 305 meters and exhibited for the first time since 2000. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of Rauschenberg’s color photographs titled Studies for Chinese Summerhall (1983), taken during the artist’s travels in China in 1982. Accompanying these works is a collection of documentation and ephemera related to Rauschenberg’s transformational 1985 exhibition “ROCI CHINA” at the institution now known as the National Art Museum of China.

CHART ART FAIR, the leading Nordic contemporary art fair, returns to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine ArtsKunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen for its fourth edition from August 26 28, 2016. Since its inception, CHART has established itself as the international platform for contemporary art in the region.

CHART breaks with the traditional fair format by carefully curating the galleriesartwork and presenting everything in unison as an exhibition, in the halls of Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The selection and curation is realised by the five founding galleries based in Copenhagen: Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, V1 Gallery, Andersens Contemporary and David Risley Gallery.

This year 28 of the leading galleries from the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) and 2 galleries based outside of the Nordic region, but originating from Copenhagen and Helsinki, have been invited to participate in the fair. Belenius/Nordenhake (SE), Galleri Brandstrup (NO), Croy Nielsen (DE), and Helsinki Contemporary (FI) will exhibit at the fair for the first time. 

Source: Press release

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Booking a holiday makes 15 per cent of British women happier than sex, says Airbnb

‘Desktop Holidays’ on the rise: Beat the January Blues by browsing holiday websites

·        Airbnb sees 36 per cent rise in browse-time from December to January as neuropsychologist identifies a developing breed of ‘desktop travellers’

·        Booking a holiday makes 15 per cent of British women happier than sex

·        ‘Mind Travel’ causes feel-good chemicals such as dopamine

Renowned British neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis has identified a rise in people browsing holiday sites in January as a means of escapism, terming this ‘desktop holidays’.

The news comes as leading community driven hospitality company Airbnb releases data showing a significant rise in how long people spend lusting after holiday destinations in January. Typically guests browse for 36 percent more time in January than December, which Dr David Lewis attributes to the intrinsic desire for a feel-good boost.

Research from the UK confirms that 75 per cent of people regularly browse travel websites to cheer themselves up - one in three doing so when they should be working. This isn't the only coping mechanism however; one in ten admit to taking a sniff of sunscreen for a spot of sensory escapism, and actually booking a holiday makes 15 per cent of women happier than sex.

Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis comments that for the British: “January is the month when Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is most severe. Grey skies, short days and a lack of sunshine can lead to bouts of ‘winter depression’ by increasing the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland. The hormone can generate feelings of despair, guilt, a loss of pleasure in everyday activities, irritability and a lack of energy.

“One answer is to use the Internet to fantasise about your perfect holiday in the sun. This form of ‘Mind Travel’ causes feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, dubbed the ‘pleasure pedal,’ to flood into your brain making us happier, more energetic and more optimistic.”

The number of booking per minute also sees a spike in January, up 18 percent on the yearly average.  Airbnb sees an average 45 bookings per minute in January, compared to a yearly average of 38 per minute.

As for the type of properties that make up these dream holidays, the more unusual the better. Browsers using the Wish List tool are choosing treehouses over stately homes, and dreaming about igloos, converted vans, lighthouses and caves.

Top 10 Most Wish Listed Properties on Airbnb

1 Secluded Intown Treehouse <> Atlanta Ga
2 The Seashell House ~ Casa Caracol <> Mexico
3 Treehouse/casabarthel <> Tuscany, Italy
4 Unique Cob Cottage <> Mayne Island, Canada
5 Aroma(n)tica TreehouseinMonferrato <> San Salvatore Monferrato, Italy
6 Mushroom Dome Cabin <> Aptos, CA
7 Pirates of the Caribbean Getaway <> (tent) <> Topanga Canyon, CA,
8 Balian Treehouse with private pool <> Bali
9 Brand New Mini Loft <> Rome, Italy
10 Off The Gridit House <> Pioneertown, CA

Top 10 Wish Listed Property Types on Airbnb
1.          Treehouse
2.          Igloo
3.          Van
4.          Lighthouse
5.          Cave
6.          Island
7.          Yurt
8.          Train
9.          Loft
10.        Cabin


About Airbnb
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

Source: Press release